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 2021-01-16 17:23 

Baptist Messenger

Encourage: Tithing provides perspective...

The year 2021 would be a great opportunity to begin tithing. This might seem odd to emphasize in the midst of a pandemic that has brought a great deal of uncertainty and insecurity to our lives. Let me tell you why I think tithing would help bring order a...

 2021-01-16 17:04 

Baptist Messenger

Blog: A 'Lot' to consider...

I've been thinking a great deal about Lot and his flight from Sodom lately. I've read Genesis 19 before, but I gained a new perspective when I read the story again recently. Previous encounters with the passage left me furious with Lot on one occa...

 2021-01-15 21:58 

Baptist Messenger

DHD: 6 comments I heard/read this week...

Greetings! I hope you had a good week. Mine was busy yet constructive. For this week's DHD, I thought I would share six comments I heard or read this week that stood out to me for different reasons. They could be funny or profound, but they stuck with...

 2021-01-15 16:14 

Baptist Messenger

God opens doors for Blake Farley...

Passionate about the Christianity he was living, Blake Farley started a ministry blog when he was 19. Today, five years later, with no college nor seminary, he's planting Ascent Church in his hometown, Woodward. Farley spent 2018 in a church planting ...

 2021-01-14 23:12 

Baptist Messenger

Paul in Athens: The backstory you never knew...

My absolute favorite missionary story in the Bible is the account of Paul preaching the Gospel in Athens. I like it because once you know a bit more of the backstory, you see the great missionary insight with which the Apostle was blessed. Also, we see Go...

 2021-01-14 22:00 

Baptist Messenger

Rose Day (Feb. 3) moved to online/virtual only event...

Leaders with the Rose Day Pro-Life Rally, the largest annual pro-life event in Oklahoma, today announced their 2021 rally will take place as a virtual event on Feb. 3, instead of taking place at the Oklahoma State Capitol. The online event will present a ...

 2021-01-14 18:00 

Baptist Messenger

Churches equipped to observe 2021 Sanctity of Human Life Sunday...

Since 1984, pro-life Christians and churches have sought to protect unborn lives by taking part of the annual Sanctity of Human Life (SOHL) Sunday emphasis each January. The 2021 SOHL Sunday is Jan. 17, and in the month of December, Oklahoma Baptists and ...

 2021-01-14 17:00 

Baptist Messenger

Oklahoma Baptists 'spray it forward' during COVID-19 outbreak...

Mel Sparks is a man on a mission to "spray it forward." His assignment: help Oklahoma Baptists in their continuing battle against COVID-19 by using a disinfecting sprayer on churches who have experienced exposure to the virus. When the outbreak of...

 2021-01-14 15:30 

Baptist Messenger

Messenger Insight 409 Next Gen Evangelism...

Hear Shane Pruitt and Brian Baldwin discuss how God is moving among students and about the upcoming virtual Youth Evangelism Conference....

 2021-01-13 22:48 

Baptist Messenger

Blog: What in the world?...

As news of the shocking and dramatic national events unfolded, I happened to hear of several pieces of good news close to home. Someone we had been praying would receive Christ made a profession of faith in Him. A person who had been sick and in the hospi...

 2021-01-13 17:00 

Baptist Messenger

Longtime Oklahoma Baptists CFO announces forthcoming retirement...

Kerry Russell, who has served the last 15 years as chief financial officer for Oklahoma Baptists state convention staff, announced his forthcoming retirement at the end of 2021. Russell, who has served on convention staff since March 1983, will officially...

 2021-01-13 16:15 

Baptist Messenger

Rite of passage: Don't forget...

Four-year-old Cohen the Goodhearted was sitting on the floor, his face buried deep in his hands as he sobbed. Cohen is exceptionally talented at faking being upset and will probably win an Oscar for this talent, but this was not that. His little body heav...

 2021-01-12 23:00 

Baptist Messenger

Gospel hymn DVD outreach takes church to dementia patients...

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (BP)—Gospel singer Gerald Wolfe was visiting his father, who was suffering from Parkinson's disease dementia at a care facility, when a guitarist playing "In the Sweet By and By" struck a chord of memory among patients ...

 2021-01-12 20:18 

Baptist Messenger

Just Joe: Rational and irrational fears...

One of the more frequent commands that we find throughout the Bible is the admonition, "Do not fear." Let's be honest. Sometimes that is easy. Sometimes that is not so easy. And sometimes it is just hard not to be fearful. Think about it this ...

 2021-01-11 23:00 

Baptist Messenger

BLOG: Peas and possibilities...

This year for Christmas, my husband gave me the gift of time. He got me a pea sheller! I'm not talking about some little gadget that sits on your tabletop and you run a handful of peas through it, hoping that they come out without being smashed. When ...

 2021-01-11 18:04 

Baptist Messenger

20 newsworthy stories from 2020...

The year 2020 presented Oklahoma Baptists with unparalleled challenges but also Gospel opportunities. Here are the Baptist Messenger's 20 newsworthy occurrences, in no order of priority, that reflect the many memorable moments of the year. Churches st...

 2021-01-11 01:43 

Baptist Messenger

YEC now online/digital event...

As we begin 2021, we have been actively monitoring public health information and the continued impact of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. After careful consideration, the decision was made to cancel all Oklahoma Baptists sponsored events of 50 people or more in the ...

 2021-01-08 19:54 

Baptist Messenger

DHD: 6 reasons why I appreciate BCM...

Greetings! This week's DHD focuses on an important Christian ministry in Oklahoma. What has been known as Baptist Student Union (BSU) is now identified as Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM). I recently heard a report about the many BCMs across Oklaho...

 2021-01-07 23:00 

Baptist Messenger

Blog: Encouragement from Paul's prayer word cloud...

Recently, while searching online, I found a compilation of all of the prayers of Paul—(https://www.kevinhalloran.net/the-apostle-pauls-prayers-in-the-bible/ ) Since I had easy access to all the words of Paul's prayers through this list, I got cu...

 2021-01-07 17:30 

Baptist Messenger

CP Prayer Profile: Hance Dilbeck...

Corporate worship—worship in the presence of and with others—is one way Oklahoma Baptists' Executive Director Hance Dilbeck stays close to the Lord. Another way is the 90 minutes he gives each morning to praying, Bible studying and journal...

 2021-01-07 15:30 

Baptist Messenger

Messenger Insight 408 Remembering the Tulsa Race Massacre...

Hance Dilbeck and Anthony Scott discuss the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre and forthcoming events and ministry opportunities. This interview was originally shown in part at Oklahoma Baptists annual meeting in November 2020....

 2021-01-06 20:13 

Baptist Messenger

Ponca City, First focuses on its neighbors...

PONCA CITY (BP)—Being a good neighbor is a Jesus-directed way of life, says Michael Taylor, citing Luke 10. Taylor, pastor of Ponca City, First, is leading his church to expand that concept in 2021. "One of the things I saw during COVID, in mult...

 2021-01-05 23:13 

Baptist Messenger

WatersEdge Endowment Distribution tops $8.5 million...

In the final week of 2020, WatersEdge staff members poured their energy into finalizing one of the organization's most anticipated projects of the year: the Endowment Distribution. Their efforts resulted in more than $8.5 million being sent out to sup...

 2021-01-04 17:30 

Baptist Messenger

LifeWay finalizes Ridgecrest sale...

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—LifeWay Christian Resources has finalized the sale of Ridgecrest Conference Center and Summer Camps to the Ridgecrest Foundation, a group dedicated to using the property as a Christian camp and conference center. "We're...

 2021-01-01 19:26 

Baptist Messenger

DHD: Six things I want to see happen in 2021...

Greetings! It's the beginning of 2021! Thank you for spending some time reading DHD on this opening day. I wanted to start the New Year with six things I would like to see happen. There are tangible items on the list, yet some could be conceptual or s...

 2020-12-31 17:25 

Baptist Messenger

Blog: Four big 2021 goals for your church, if the Lord wills...

If you had been in denominational work for the last 24 years like I have been, I bet you'd wish you could have a nickel for every time you read a planning document that read "By the year 2020, we will...(insert goal)." As far back as I can rem...

 2020-12-31 15:30 

Baptist Messenger

Messenger Insight 407 Joel Harder Part Two: Positioning the Church to leverage online technology for the future...

Joel Harder unpacks findings from his statewide survey about how Covid quarantines disrupted the way Oklahoma churches use technology and how church leaders can more effectively deploy technology in ministry. He also talks about the upcoming Oklahoma Gove...

 2020-12-30 22:11 

Baptist Messenger

The 10 best family-friendly movies of 2020...

Even if 2020 was the worst year in recent history, it still produced dozens of inspiring and entertaining movies families can enjoy—including documentaries, dramas and comedies. Here are the 10 best ones, in no order: I Still Believe (PG)—A yo...

 2020-12-30 17:30 

Baptist Messenger

Rite of passage: The great hymnal robbery...

In the late '50s, our little country church congregation was split down the middle. The older people wanted to keep the hymnals we already had, but the younger generations wanted a new hymnal that contained some of the more contemporary hymns. Now, if...

 2020-12-29 20:25 

Baptist Messenger

COVID-19 relief law aids charitable giving...

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BP)—New COVID-19 relief legislation that maintains encouragement for charitable giving and funding for a small loan program that includes churches gained President Trump's signature Sunday evening, Dec. 27. In a sudden reversal...

 2020-12-29 17:19 

Baptist Messenger

Baptize one in 2021...

The year 2020 provided plenty of challenges. It was also full of opportunity. The year 2021 holds just as much opportunity, if not more. Leaders continually faced with the question of whether or not they will take every opportunity the Lord presents to ad...

 2020-12-28 17:21 

Baptist Messenger

Bible in a year: 5 things I learned...

In 2019, I bought the CSB Day-by-Day Chronological Bible and attempted to begin in late March only to have found myself lacking discipline, focus and good tactics. At the end of 2019, I knew I needed to read the whole Bible in 2020 and resolved that I was...

 2020-12-27 17:44 

Baptist Messenger

A New Year's resolution: Keeping your sights set on the prize...

If anyone had told you a year ago that 2020 would turn out like it has, you might have laughed in that person's face. But then again, none of us can predict the future or know exactly what is in store for us. As we finish out the year, we are already ...

 2020-12-24 18:00 

Baptist Messenger

DHD: Six underrated Christmas show characters...

Greetings! I've decided to recycle another DHD from a past Christmastime. I still appreciate all of these underrated Christmas show characters. Have a Merry Christmas! *********************** I'm in a Christmas mood, so I thought I would offer a s...

 2020-12-24 14:12 

Baptist Messenger

T'was the blog before Christmas...

T'was the blog before Christmas and all through the house, Not a computer was stirring, not even a mouse. The stock images were stored in the shared drives with care With the expectation that nary a blogger would need to be there. The editorial staff ...

 2020-12-23 23:04 

Baptist Messenger

BLOG: A Blue Christmas?...

"I'm really down right now." "I'm feeling kind of depressed and hopeless." These are statements I recently saw on social media lately. To some degree or another, there seem to be an unusually high number of people fighting feelings...

 2020-12-23 18:13 

Baptist Messenger

Pixar's 'Soul' is packed with life lessons for kids ... and adults...

Editor's note: This monthly series, "5 Family-Friendly Things," spotlights five family-friendly entertainment choices on film, DVDs, streaming or television. The phrase "family-friendly"—as every parent knows—is subjective....

 2020-12-22 18:17 

Baptist Messenger

Engaging the culture for the Kingdom this Christmas...

The Christmas season is upon us, and with it come all sorts of challenges and opportunities. Depending upon how one looks at it, the money we spend on gifts can be either a challenge, an opportunity, or both. Many are challenged with resource demands such...

 2020-12-21 18:02 

Baptist Messenger

BLOG: There is only so much man can do...

Once I discovered my passion for herbalism and gardening, I have never looked back! For the past 23 years, I have been actively learning, practicing and living with a book (or computer screen) in one hand and a tool in the other. I am never bored or searc...

 2020-12-21 17:45 

Baptist Messenger

Messenger Insight 406 Joel Harder Part One: Pastoral ministry at the Oklahoma State Capitol...

Oklahoma Baptist Joel Harder talks about how he applies 2 Timothy 2:1-4 in his ministry as the Chaplain of the Oklahoma State House of Representatives....

 2020-12-19 14:56 

Baptist Messenger

Mataa and me: How a text message deepened my understanding of the plight of refugees...

"Hello." I woke to this message on my phone. The sender didn't give their name or any further message. I was reluctant to respond to a message from an unknown person. I felt God saying, "Go ahead. Talk to this person." I replied tentat...

 2020-12-18 23:00 

Baptist Messenger

DHD: Six Christmas traditions...

Greetings! I've decided to rehash an old DHD from 2016. Since it is the Christmas season, it's a good one to review. Enjoy reading, a Merry Christmas to all readers! ********************** Greetings! I'm still in the Christmas spirit! I hope y...

 2020-12-18 18:00 

Baptist Messenger

Stinson departs, Dockery named interim provost of Southwestern Seminary...

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)—Southwestern Seminary announced an abrupt change at provost Dec. 17. In a statement, Randy L. Stinson, who had served as provost and vice president for academic administration since February 2019, said he could "no longer ...

 2020-12-18 16:18 

Baptist Messenger

HHS acts against states' freedom of conscience violations...

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BP)—The Trump administration has taken action in its waning days to protect the freedom of conscience of Americans who oppose funding or helping perform abortions. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Wednesd...

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